Article 43

 

Revelations

Monday, October 23, 2006

An Armageddon Possibility

C r o s s W a t c h
By Dorothy A Sees
The Flagship Logs
October 10, 2006

There was a commentary, a very old volume, that I came across some years back and it has long since been either given away or lost in my moving around until settling in a retirement community condominium in Arizona which has little space for books (or much else).  As I recall, the comments were written somewhere around the middle of the nineteenth century, and one portion of what I read has remained fixed in my mind as an ongoing question as to its possibility.

The word “Armageddon” is mentioned in the King James Version in Revelation 16:16, and the battle is described in Revelation 19:17 ff. in more detail.  It is far from any Hollywood version and quite far from what most people think of when “Armageddon” is mentioned.  Is it a war?  Yes.  Is it a battle?  Yes.  Is it nuclear?  We don’t know. What I found interesting is how this commentator viewed Armageddon, because it is a bit inconceivable to see nations gathered together in the Valley of Meggido to fight against God, a Spirit more powerful than man’s mind is able to conceive in thought or word.

This commentator expressed his meditations upon Armageddon and its “battle” as being the total political, religious, social, economic and moral breakdown of human society.  In summary, he saw the war as being essentially a spiritual war of total rebellion against God Almighty, and the leading by God of the combatants into total defeat, so that their frailties and follies were self-consuming.

Should this commentator be correct, this world is well on its way to Armageddon, if not standing on the precipice of the whole conflagration.

As insane as this world has become, it is as devoid of morality and responsibility as any heathen civilization of the past, and even more contemptuous toward God, His authority and even His existence, as any ever conceived of by man in his sordid travels on earth through recorded time.  Even so, it is rather ludicrous to contemplate the Armageddon scenarious put forth by those who believe in it, and those who ridicule it, as being a war in which the nations go about firing nuclear armaments into the sky at random.  Even the lunatics governing the nations of the world seem to have slightly better sense than to engage in that kind of conduct.

It is just as naive and demented to envision a battle between “good people” and “bad people” as humans tend to categorize themselves, every one armed to the teeth and the “good” people eventually winning the battle. For one thing, that isn’t even close to what the Bible says about Armageddon.  In God’s sight there are no good people, only those who are justified by grace through faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ, the Redeemer, Savior and King.  That is the message of the Bible with respect to the mission and ministry of the Christ. And Armageddon is human warfare, presided over by Satan, against Christ and His host of heavenly beings.  So there is a spiritual war behind the earthly war, with spirit beings as well as human beings involved.  It is indeed the consummate battle between good and evil, far greater than what human minds, even the most devout of believers, are able to envision in the terms presented to us in the Bible (which is not a criticism of the Bible).

What, then, could these deluded kings of the earth be fighting against, and with what?  If there is a battle, then there must be combat of some sort ... or a condition that will lead to the destruction we associate with the name Armageddon.  How could the armies of the earth ruled by demon-led kings actually enter into a battle with God?

We need to travel back to Genesis momentarily and see that Satan never attempted to attack God personally. No, Satan chose man, God’s highest creation (a moral being in human flesh) as the pawn of his warfare against God, and his methods have never changed throughout human history. 

Satan has thus deceived both the kings of the earth and their subjects, mankind in general (except for God’s elect) into denying God and disobeying His every commandment and statute given for man’s benefit.  What this produces, of course, is the total breakdown of all political, religious, social, moral and economic structures that hold the world, such as it is, together with some form of order.  The result is the most ungodly chaos the world system has ever known or beheld.  After the great slaughter of Satan’s earthly followers, an angel invites the birds to a feast consisting of the carcasses of the slain.  (God is also the Master Ecologist.)

After Armageddon, the next judgment is upon the “great harlot” known as Mystery Babylon.  If we look at the history of Babylon, we will find quite easily that it was in Babylon (successor to Sumeria) that we find the beginnings of corrupt politics, false religion, social inequalities, immorality of every sort, and greedy commerce. Those, according to the commentary, are the elements of this world system that are devastated at Armageddon, never to be seen upon the new earth or in the new heavens, cleansed of all evil for eternity.

God, at whom no missile was ever fired, is pictured as seated on a great white horse (rulership) from which He, as the righteous King, both judges and makes war.  (Rev. 19:11) Now the war is over, all that is left is the final judgment of the wicked.

The war is one-sided in God’s favor.  That is not a Hollywood view with intricate special effects, it is God’s word as to the absolute rulership of God over His creation, that which He initiated when it is written “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” (Gen. 1:1)

However, in the Bible’s story about Armageddon, there is no narrative as to the war itself.  None.  The rebels are gathered together to make war against God; there are voices, lightnings, thunders, and a great earthquake heretofore unknown to the earth.  Then it’s over.  Yet the wicked are dead, and the power of death is contained not in nuclear weapons but in the word of God.

Why is the battle omitted?  This writer cannot be certain. It is certain that God neither records in His word nor omits from it that which we are to know, or must not know.

Would you consider today’s earthwide breakdown of all its previous norms of human behavior as a war? Perhaps not. Or, if you believed that what is happening today is the commencement of Armageddon, would you be a fire-insurance seeker of God’s mercy?  We always have had bomb-shelter religionists who want God to come save them from disasters, then forget Him as soon as the emergency is over.  Speculation here is endless in its possibilities.

We can know from history that there have been many times when evil seemed to permeate the air and the water, the bones and the marrow of portions of the earth as a result of some egotist’s conquest. Never has the world been this populated or this joined together in world commerce and politics so that what affects one portion of the planet affects it all. 

With both Hollywood and the media jumping into the act and carelessly (and ignorantly) talking about “Armageddon” it would do us well to consider whether the commentator of long ago might have been accurate when he concluded that Armageddon would be a world breakdown and loss of the knowledge of God, hence setting itself up for any manner of self-destruct that is actually the war of God against evil.

With the increasing chaos in our world, those who are in Christ will take comfort whether today’s events are the beginning of Armageddon or not.  And the only valid question really isn’t whether this is Armageddon, but whether you are on God’s side?  When the answer is “yes” then the events that are to come will come and go, but we who are with Christ will endure forever.

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Posted by Elvis on 10/23/06 •
Section Revelations
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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Globalization Defined

What is your personal definition of globalization? What do you feel is the greatest positive/negative aspect of globalization?

1. Corporate operatives have made the word “globalization” a potent weapon in their campaigns to consolidate power, authority and wealth; to frame and control public debate; and to DIVIDE AND CONQUER opponents.

When corporate operatives—including writers in the corporate-owned PRESS, corporate-drenched politicians and intellectuals-for-hire—use this word, THEY MEAN ONE THING for public consumption, and quite another thing for their INTERNAL PLOTTING.

Public consumption: they work hard to have people believe globalization refers to a world characterized by greater and friendlier interactions among peoples and nations, where folks are happily trading with one another, exchanging ideas, sharing quaint customs, traveling to and fro, equally enjoying the boundless prosperity which comes from “lifting barriers” to free and full expression of human wants, human aspirations and money flow. They want people to link “globalization” with some vague ideas of constant progress, eradication of poverty, planetary justice.

Within corporate boardrooms and thinktanks, inside USA government sanctums: globalization describes a privatization of the world. It is about the global corporatization of practically everything: from goods and services to water, air, health care and education; from ideas and histories to art, genes and body parts. It is about the “rule of law”—and therefore the military power of the United States of America (and its so-called “allies” in assorted multi-nation alliances like NATO, WTO, etc.) - doing the bidding of the propertied few and their giant corporations.

Globalization also is about the homogenization of everything from biology to law and jurisprudential principles; from food to films to language to sales and consumption.

Globalization, therefore, is about the corporatization of all life. It is about crushing people’s dreams of communities, regions and nations across the world of one day governing themselves. Globalization is about the end to the idea of human rights...the end to the idea of species rights, place rights-accompanied by the commodification of everything under the sun (from water to soil to space, to, of course, the sun itself).

As lawyers and propagandists well know, those who do the defining and the naming control discussion, control ideas, control rules and laws. They therefore dictate when and where police, courts and the armed forces bring their coercive power to bear. In the United States, the rule of law has enabled men of property to govern through their giant corporations. It has directed legal violence against women and men holding ideas different from what corporate operatives had in mind.

There’s nothing unique here: segregation and Jim Crow laws in the United States, along with apartheid laws in the Union of South Africa, arrayed the rule of law - and hence the armed force of government—against people of color.

2. It is regrettable that people and civic organizations around the world opposing corporate+government efforts to control and homogenize the Cosmos use the word “globalization” and words like “free trade.”

A new abomination in this part of the world is what corporate+government advocates are calling a ”FREE TRADE Agreement of the Americas.” But this is not an agreement about “free trade.” It is a CORPORATE PROPERTY RIGHTS AGREEMENT...a corporate governance agreement. And so every time an opponent publishes a book or pamphlet denouncing this agreement and calls it a “free trade” issue, corporate operatives win a great victory.

Every time opponents say that the appropriate response to “free trade” is “fair trade,” they reinforce the corporate idea that this controversy is about “trade,” and not about dictatorship by the few who run global corporations.

Let us reject all corporate language—which is, after all, the language of deception and sales. We can speak clearly and simply about how laws advantaging corporate interests over human rights are fundamentally illegitimate, unjust, anti-democratic. This would make it easier for people everywhere to see that each time agglomerations of property organized as corporations increase their authority under law, they exterminate people’s rights.

If we frame issues in the context of democracy and legitimacy, people will be better able to put corporate operatives and pimping politicians on the defensive. People would be helping one another see that communities and nations have many choices when fashioning the rules for living in harmony with one another, with other species, and with the Earth.

3. As for me and my work with the Program on Corporations, Law & Democracy (POCLAD): I do not use the word “globalization” except to define it as I did above. I do not define myself as “anti-globalization.” I do talk about the “global corporatization” being imposed by a very small minority, and encourage activist efforts which nurture democracy, self-governance, biological and cultural diversity.

I favor greater contact and interaction among people of the world. I favor democracy and self-governance, public ownership of the commons and clear public authority over necessities like energy, water, education, health care, food, etc. I believe that people in different communities and nations should be able to trade with one another. But I do not believe that any community or nation or corporation should have the authority under law to dictate rules to other communities and other nations.

People around the world are increasingly being instructed that public decisionmaking is less “efficient” than corporations’ private decrees (gussied up as “market decisions"). But surely there is ample evidence that public decisionmaking invariably leads to wiser and fairer results than fiats by self-appointed big shots of commerce, finance, industry and bellicosity.

In the United States, corporations wield greater rights under law than people do. Corporations successfully claim constitutional rights of freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. They use the protection of government to deny these rights to their employees.

Corporations also successfully claim constitutional rights of due process and equal protection of the law. But these rights were written into our constitution by radical activists seeking to enable all human beings to be part of the “self-governing people” so that they could use elections, lawmaking, jurisprudence and education to prevent tyrants from running the country.

To grant constitutional rights to property organized as corporations is to establish a rule of law which makes it easy for the few to tyrannize the many.

[It is my understanding that the constitution of the Union of South Africa—probably one of the most freedom-inspiring and human liberty - protecting constitution in the world—explicitly grants citizenship rights—and therefore constitutional powers --- to corporations. Is this true?] 1

Today my country, your country and the Earth face a corporate holocaust against human and Earthly rights. I call their efforts a holocaust because when giant corporations wield human rights backed by constitutions and the law (and therefore enforced by police, the courts, and armed forces)—and sanctioned by cultural norms, the rights of people, other species and the Earth are annihilated.

4. In sum: globalization as conceived and implemented by leaders of giant corporations and their politicians is about domination over the many by the few, protected (and camouflaged) by the rule of law. Such domination has been the reality in my country since its founding in 1787, despite all the propaganda you may have heard to the contrary.

People across the world are struggling to substitute their own visions of democracy and self-governance and enough for the relentless destructions that will be guaranteed by corporate dominion over the Earth. Such struggles cannot be won using the language, values, tools, and methods of our corporate oppressors.

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 10/04/06 •
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Sunday, September 24, 2006

A Nuclear Dawn in the Gulf

While IRAN continues play a game of cat-and-mouse over its nuclear ambitions, its Arab neighbors have discussed the possibility of a joint atomic energy program.

Egypt’s nuclear research center in Inshas north of Cairo is the only working reactor in the Arab world.

As Iran tries to buy time in its dispute with the international community over its nuclear program, the Arab world’s interest in atomic energy is apparently growing.

The secretary general of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Abdul Rahman al Attiyah, recently called on the “Arab nation” to work “together on a nuclear program,” to prevent being left behind as others in the region—namely Iran, which is Persian and sometimes at odds with its neighbors -pushed ahead with atomic research.

Attiyah’s call points to a shift in policy. Arab governments in the past have criticized both Iran’s nuclear ambitions and Israel’s (officially nonexistent) atomic program, while arguing for a nuclear-free Middle East and swearing off plans to pursue the bomb.

Of course, Attiyah and other Arab leaders say they want nuclear power only for civilian purposes—but so does Iran’s controversial President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The mere suggestion of “nuclear cooperation at an Arab level” therefore raises fears in the West of an arms race.

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and the United Arab Emirates have all signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, as well as an agreement that bans them from all forms of uranium enrichment. Western countries would naturally like to keep those agreements intact. But Nicole Stracke, from the Gulf Research Center in Dubai, warns that “If the Gulf Cooperation Council decides to pursue a nuclear initiative it could mean Saudi Arabia might rethink its participation in those agreements.”

There have been several attempts to develop an “Arab bomb” since the 1960s. Saddam Hussein’s nuclear program in Iraq was effectively ended by an Israeli air strike on a reactor in 1981. Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi gave up his nuclear program in December 2003 in negotiations with the United States to rehabilitate his international status. Since the Middle East is awash in oil, the demand for new technologies has been low, and the only Arab nation with a working research reactor at the moment is Egypt.

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 09/24/06 •
Section Revelations
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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Kiss The Fourth Amendment Good Bye

Senate Judiciary Committee approves Big Brother bills
Ryan Paul
ARS Technica

Se 14, 2006

The Senate Judiciary Committee has approved two competing bills designed to overhaul electronic surveillance laws and address the legal ambiguity of the NSA’s wiretap program. One of those bills, the NATIONAL SECURITY SURVEILLANCE ACT (S.B. 2453), would legitimize the NSA’s controversial domestic surveillance activity, and thwart current efforts by the EFF and ACLU to challenge the legality of the program in court.

Authorized by an executive order signed by President Bush in 2002, the extralegal spying program enables the NSA to engage in covert domestic surveillance of American citizens and foreign nationals. Revealed to the public last year by the New York Times, the NSA’s controversial program has become the subject of contentious debate. After the Senate decided not to pursue an inquiry into the program at the insistence of vice president Cheney, the EFF and several other organizations filed suits against the government and the telecommunications companies that facilitated the program. The federal government tried to crush the litigation by invoking the state secrets privilege. Although the ACLU’s case was dismissed, Judge Vaughn Walker rejected the state secrets argument, and decided to permit the EFF to pursue it’s case against AT&T. The Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation lawsuit against the NSA was also permitted. Characterizing the program as unconstitutional, Judge Anna Diggs Taylor ordered the NSA to halt UNWARRANTED SURVEILLANCE activity earlier this month.

Sponsored by Senator Arlen Specter and described as a “compromise” with the White House, S.B. 2453 radically redefines surveillance, dramatically expands the power of the executive branch, substantially weakens FOURTH AMENDMENT protections, and imposes limitations on judicial and congressional oversight to an extent that critics (including myself) claim is antithetical to the Separation of Powers doctrine and the American system of checks and balances.

If passed, S.B. 2453 would legalize the NSA’s current domestic spying activity, and permit the government to establish entire electronic surveillance programs with a single FISA warrant. The bill would also change the definition of surveillance to allow the government to intercept “dialing, routing, addressing, or signaling” data from purely domestic electronic communications without requiring a warrant. In essence, the government would be free to compile massive databases that track the source and destination of practically all domestic e-mail messages and phone calls as well as the web browsing habits of American citizens. The bill further expands the NSA program by permitting interception of the content and substance of purely domestic communications in cases where one party is located on “property or premises under the open and exclusive control of a foreign power,” enabling interception of messages sent to or from foreign embassies located in America.

S.B. 2453 would also allow the government to move all litigation and legal challenges to federal surveillance programs into the FISA courts, where only government lawyers are permitted to see and present evidence. The bill would permit the FISA court to “dismiss a challenge to the legality of an electronic surveillance program for any reason provided for under law.” If passed, S.B. 2453 would easily put an end to the lawsuits pursued by the EFF, the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, and others. It would completely prevent public scrutiny of domestic intelligence gathering programs and silence those that have been subjected to such programs. Finally, the bill would expand executive authority by removing all restraints on presidential power from FISA. The bill allows the President to authorize domestic electronic surveillance programs without any judicial oversight at all.

Condemned by the AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION (ACLU) as “a rubber stamp for the administration’s abuse of power,” S.B. 2453 has infuriated privacy and civil liberties advocates. ACLU Senior Counsel for Legislative Strategy Lisa Graves comments, “The approval of partisan bills to ratify the illegal spying on Americans demonstrates cowardly obedience to the president, to the detriment of the liberty and privacy of the American people and the rule of law.” According to the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT), Specter’s bill paradoxically “define[s] large categories of electronic surveillance as not being electronic surveillance,” and “divests the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of jurisdiction to review the President’s program.” The CDT also points out that the scope and nature of the data mining permitted by S.B. 2453 is “reminiscent of the Total Information Awareness program,” which we have discussed in the past in relation to the NSA program.

Senator Feinstein’s bill, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Improvement and Enhancement Act (S.B. 3877), was also approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Cosponsored by Specter despite the fact that it competes with his own bill, S.B. 3877 received bipartisan support and is endorsed by numerous civil liberties groups. Much less radical than competing proposals, Feinstein’s bill attempts to safeguard civil liberties while resolving problems with current FISA legislation identified by the administration, including “significant time delays, and inadequate administration personnel.”

Feinstein’s bill requires the President to adhere to the rule of law, and explicitly states that Authorization for Use of Military Force does not give the president “an implied authority to act outside of FISA.” The bill would also require electronic surveillance activity to be disclosed to Congressional intelligence committees. While still requiring warrants for surveillance, S.B. 3877 would allow retroactive warrants to be acquired as much as 7 days after the fact, expanding the time windowfrom 72 hours. The bill would also extend support for “hot pursuit” wiretaps in a manner that would allow law enforcement and NSA supervisors to authorize surveillance without a warrant, as long as the Attorney General is notified within 24 hours. The CDT praised Feinstein’s bill, saying that it “restores the constitutional balance of power and is narrowly focused on the issues the Administration said caused it to circumvent FISA—namely, the need for more resources, greater speed in approving FISA applications, more flexibility to begin wiretapping in an emergency, and clarity that a warrant is not required for the interception of foreign-to-foreign communications.”

Specter’s support for both bills is peculiar to say the least. Despite the inherently contradictory nature of the two proposals, Senator Specter does not feel that his position is in any way inconsistent. The proposal authored by Specter in cooperation with the White House could be part of a Republican pre-election strategy to push for a vote on controversial national security issues that will provide Republican Congressional candidates with an opportunity to characterize their opponents as “weak on terrorism.”

When it comes right down to it, both of the bills inherently degrade fourth amendment protections and expand the scope of the federal government’s investigative power and authority for the sake of augmented versatility in the war against terror, but Feinstein’s bill does so while simultaneously imposing concrete and well-defined limitations on the extent of Presidential power. In order to ensure that the American system of checks and balances remains intact, it is imperative that lawmakers reject proposals like the Specter bill, which eliminate oversight and accountability while imbuing the executive branch with the power to violate the freedom and privacy of American citizens. As the war against terror continues, the increasingly invasive investigative techniques used by the federal government must be coupled with vigorous oversight. Obscured by the dark curtain of the secretive FISA courts, domestic surveillance cannot be permitted to continue beyond the reach of public scrutiny.

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 09/20/06 •
Section Revelations
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Saturday, September 16, 2006

Are We Headed Toward World War?

From the TIME OPINIONLEADERS blog:

It may sound overly dramatic when the question is originally posed, however there have been more than one analyst that have stated that the current status of world relations is not completely dissimilar to that of 1938. The growing animosity between the Middle Eastern Islamic states and western world continues to spread daily. The leader of Iran continues to pursue nuclear power, and has openly stated that he would like to eliminate Israel as well as the United States. When all things are considered, all-out war certainly does not seem out of the question. However, instead of contemplating who is or is not at fault for the current state of affairs, let’s discuss how such a catastrophe could be avoided. Time Opinion Leaders, it is clear that the possibility of nuclear war is present. If you were saddled with the task of avoiding it, what would your plan be?

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 09/16/06 •
Section Revelations
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